HDP co-chair Temelli: We must re-read Öcalan

Co-chair Sezai Temelli explains at an HDP conference in Ankara: "Especially with regard to social organisation, we need to read Öcalan again. Our option is the uprising of the peoples."

In Ankara, a conference of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) with 600 delegates has taken place in the run-up to the party congress in February. In his speech, the co-chair of the HDP, Sezai Temelli, addressed the current situation in the Middle East and Turkey and spoke of the old system that is trying to keep itself alive through its wars in the Middle East.

The conflicts in the Middle East are of importance for the whole world, he said, because here the old system, which stands for war, exploitation and environmental destruction, is fighting for its existence. He called the AKP an instrument of the neo-liberal system, which brings nothing but exploitation, destruction and war to the people. He pointed out that the AKP is feeding on the hopelessness of the situation, especially on the lack of a solution to the Kurdish question, and is trying to establish a new nationalist order based on Kurdish hostility and neo-Ottomanism.

"The whole country is in isolation"

The AKP is a lawbreaking government, a government of violence, Temelli said and continued: "It has suspended the law and tries to make the state of emergency a normal state. The judicial system has collapsed. There is a law of isolation. The isolation does not only concern Imrali alone, it concerns the whole of Turkey. The whole country is in isolation. The isolation against Mr. Öcalan at Imrali means the isolation of a democratic solution. It is a means of hindering a democratic solution. Because by preventing a democratic solution, the authoritarian system can stay in power. If we look at the prisons, this system of violence becomes perfectly clear. Today, torture is carried out in the prisons, there are human rights violations. Mothers and children are in prison, innocent people are in prison, sick prisoners are dying in custody. The problem of prisons is the problem of Turkey. The picture in prisons shows the state of the country most clearly."

"Let's read Öcalan"

Temelli described Turkey as the country with the highest number of "industrial accidents" in the world and the most massive exploitation of the labour force. He referred to Lenin with the phrase "What to do" and continued: "We must talk about Lenin once more and at the level of social organization we must read Öcalan once more and think about it again.

Building a democratic alliance

Temelli advocated an expansion of organization at all levels of society and called for the establishment of a democratic alliance. This should involve negotiations with all democratic forces and organising against fascism on a participatory democratic level, he said and added: "We want to create a new system in which power and decision-making authority lies with the population. The way to get there is through organization." Temelli repeated the call for early elections. Before that, however, he said it was necessary to talk about how to develop a parliamentary system focused on local democracy".

"Women's struggle must be strengthened"

The co-chair of HDP stressed that the women's struggle must be further strengthened, because it is the decisive factor for the liberation of society. He said no free society could be created without the liberation of labor.

On ecology, Temelli said: "The struggle for ecology is a central pillar of the struggle for radical democracy. Without saving the environment, we cannot save life."